Saying Goodbye to Japan

Saying Goodbye to Japan

I walked into Nagatomi-sensei’s office, a little hand-made chainmail trinket buried in my pocket so that she couldn’t see it. I sat down with her to discuss my final grade, but to me, it was really a meeting to say goodbye. I knew it would be the last day that I saw her, and after … Continue reading

Sumo and a Samurai Thanksgiving, with Weapons

Sumo and a Samurai Thanksgiving, with Weapons

The time had finally come; after around 6 months of planning, I was on my way to an entirely different island of Japan — Kyushu. More specifically, Hakata Station in Fukuoka. The final day of the November sumo tournament had a seat with my name on it. I was excited for a number of reasons … Continue reading

Lockdown, Living at a Temple, and Gold Leaf Dragons

Lockdown, Living at a Temple, and Gold Leaf Dragons

The last two days have been the best sort of hectic. Our regularly-scheduled Friday Japanese test was moved back to the third half of Thursday’s Japanese classes, which meant that Friday was opened up for the culture project — visiting a Japanese elementary school for a few hours and, based on the handout we received, … Continue reading

Yet Another Homestay

Yet Another Homestay

If you’ve followed my previous adventures in Japan, you’ll know that I’ve done three homestays throughout the course of my journeys. Upon discovering that I’d have the chance to sign up for one more homestay, I eagerly put my name in and hoped for a good match. That was in September. Late October rolled around, … Continue reading

It’s All About Them Telescopes

It’s All About Them Telescopes

It’s not every day you walk through a room filled with bags of other people’s breath. Sagawa-san led us through the tech rooms at Otsuka, paying particular attention to the spectrometers (costing hundreds of thousands of dollars each) and the cancer-detecting machines. It was to these machines that bags and bags of breath were attached. … Continue reading

On Working Together with Animals in Japan

On Working Together with Animals in Japan

I like animals. Even if they’re the kind that I’ll eventually kill, like mosquitoes, I do generally still feel bad for killing them. If it’s near enough to the door, I’ll move a spider back outside instead of killing it. That’s why the giant spider who made his home outside my window here has not … Continue reading